The internet offers many legitimate opportunities to make money from home. Although I have a steady freelance contract that provides my main income, I like to top up my earnings via websites such as Prolific Academic* to create a pot of spare cash for guilt free spending. Since joining the site at the end of January 2015, as of September 2016, I’ve made nearly £500 by participating in academic studies in my spare time. As survey website go, Prolific is definitely the most interesting, worthwhile and well paid that I’ve come across. It’s great to know that I’m contributing to significant research.
What is Prolific Academic?
Prolific matches academic researchers with participants for their studies. From a participant’s perspective, you get to complete studies in a wide range of fields such as economics, politics and psychology. No prior knowledge or academic ability is required.
Studies vary in time and payout. Sometimes it’ll be 20p for a few minutes, others £2 for 20 minutes, but Prolific have an ‘ethical rewards’ principle in place that means you’ll always earn the equivalent of at least £5 per hour for the time that you spend. There are also often opportunities for bonus payments that act as within study incentives and thus depend on the answers you provide.
How does Prolific Academic work?
It’s very simple to sign up to Prolific Academic and to complete studies via their site. After entering a few personal details you’ll be asked to complete some brief demographic questions that help match participants to the right studies. Then you’re free to browse the studies on your dashboard and participate in as many as you like.
A practice study is available to help you get to grips with everything and I’ve always found their support team incredibly friendly and quick to respond. If you have any problems with a specific study you’re also able to contact the researcher directly via the Prolific website.
Once you’ve completed a survey, the researcher will check that you’ve legitimately participated in their study and then approve your submission, at which point your earnings will be added to your balance. This can take a few days but in general, I’ve found most researchers to be reasonably efficient at completing this step.
Prolific Academic Payment
Prolific pay participants via Paypal. Once your balance is over £5 you’re able to withdraw your earnings, though for payments under £20 you’ll incur a small fee. In the UK you can avoid this by waiting until your balance has hit £20 to cash out. I have always received payment with 48 hours.
It’s important to remember that, within the UK, all earnings such as this should be declared for tax purposes. You’ll need to register as self-employed, which is very easy to do and can be done alongside regular employment.
In my time as a member of Prolific, I’ve seen the number of surveys available grow significantly, making Prolific Academic a legitimate and exciting way to make money from home.
If you’re interested in becoming a Prolific Academic participant you can sign up here*.